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Acts 5:14-42 – Opposition that reminds one of … following Jesus

The result of the apostles’ continued bold speaking is that “more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women”. And in accordance with their previous prayer for God to authenticate the message with signs and wonders this is what happens – even people on whom Peter’s shadow falls are healed!

The Sadducees are filled with jealousy and arrest the apostles – the same people who arrested Jesus for the same reason. Two things can be observed: (1) The followers of Jesus experience the same opposition as their Lord (2) Despite the attempts of the Sadducees to end the story of Jesus, the kingdom advances. Both statements are a great encouragement for us.

During the night an angel of the Lord opens the prison doors commanding them and enabling them to stand in the temple (the domain of the Sadducees) and proclaim to all the people all the words of life (the very thing the Sadducees were seeking to prevent). Apparently, the angel of the Lord locked the doors behind them after their departure because the guards did not notice anything amiss.

The same high priest responsible for Jesus’ being handed over to Pilate to be crucified says, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” Interestingly, they were guilty of Jesus’ blood and it will be God who brings it down upon their heads.

Observe the clarity with which Peter and the apostles speak and the contrast between the judgment of men and the judgment (verdict) of God:

The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

The apostles are beaten and again charged not to speak in his name. The Sadducees seem powerless while the apostles leave rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.

The conclusion: And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

Amen. And so, we follow in rejoicing and speaking and suffering and boldness.